Banana Blossom with Glass Noodles (Kilawin Puso ng Saging sa Sotanghon)

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Call it banana blossom or banana heart, this purple “bloom” of the banana plant is usually served as a salad.  A typical banana blossom dish in the Philippines marinates the shredded banana blosoom in vinegar, pepper, salt and chopped thai bird chili. Some even add coconut milk and either pork, chicken or shrimp.  I love the salty spicy sour taste (kilawin) especially when served with steaming hot rice.  For this recipe, I added glass noodles and pork slices and cooked it with vinegar and chilis.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 medium size banana heart, shredded
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 4-5 thai bird chilis or siling labuyo
  • 1/3 cup pork, thinly sliced  or 1/2 cup shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • oil for sauteeing
  • 1 cup  glass noodles, cut and soaked in water to soften

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Directions:

  1. Mix water and salt in a bowl.  Add shredded banana blossom, squeeze in the salty water to get some of the sap out and then soak for 20  minutes.  Squeeze again and drain. Set aside.
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  3. Heat oil in wok or sautee pan.  Sautee garlic, onion and tomatoes until soft.  Add pork and continue sauteeing in high heat until pork is cooked.  If using shrimp, cook until shrimp is pink.
  4. Add drained banana blossoms and bird chilils. Stir to combine.
  5. Add vinegar and water. Do not stir and cook until boiling.
  6. When it starts to boil, let it cook until blossoms are soft.  Add more water if needed and season with salt and pepper.
  7. When most of liquid has been absorbed, add glass noodles.  Stir and remove from heat.  Serve hot with steamed rice.

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» Carolyn said: { May 6, 2009 - 11:05 }

WOW! banana blossom?! absolutely beautiful.

» jenn said: { May 6, 2009 - 01:05 }

I haven’t had this banana blossom yet. I’ve seen some when I went back home last year, but no one made anything from it. At least from what I remember. But I do love sotanghon, though.

» Tita Beng said: { May 6, 2009 - 09:05 }

I miss this dish already. Will do it one of these days. Nice presentation eh!

» Jude said: { May 7, 2009 - 09:05 }

Love this stuff, I just don’t like the random stains and the feeling on my hands whenever I handle puso ng saging. Sarap.

» manang said: { May 12, 2009 - 08:05 }

I love this with coconut milk (It was one of my favorites to order for lunch at a carinderia). Thanks for posting this recipe, esp that part how to prepare the blossoms (to remove the bitterness). I once attempted to cook this and had to throw it aways…just could not tolerate the taste! Thanks a million! Now I have to wait again to see this in the grocery store.

» virtual chef said: { May 12, 2009 - 03:05 }

thanks, carolyn!

jenn: i love banana blossom. and like manang said, cooked in coconut milk much like laing and it taste wonderful!

tita be: send me link when you do. the ones I get here are too small.

jude: i’m with you. that sap is really sticky and easily stains.

manang: oh, yes! with coconut milk is great! i can never seem to make it like the ones sold in carinderias. i look forward to you making it. you always come up with different ways to make it taste better!!!!


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